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James Governor last week said that blogs are used more and more as a Request for Proposal (RFP) and Cote has called for an RFP Microformat.  Remember the Lazyweb? You think of something that would make your life easier. You search for it, but it looks like it doesn’t exist yet. The chance is high that someone else has had the same problem already and may be has a solution. What you do is describe the problem in a blog post and create a trackback to the Lazyweb site. With a bit of luck someone will point you to the solution or will create one for you. Unfortunately the Lazyweb got spammed and went offline 🙁  Blogging and their readers are now so ubiquitous that agile service providers are scanning these post on a daily basis via key-words search and contact people to tell them about their solution.   Being proactive like that can close deals within a day or two with the additional advantage of your competition not even being aware of the opportunity. (This advantage will fade over time as your competition will wake up.)  Keyword tracking via Google, Technorati or  Active Words is crude. With having an RFP Microformat the process could be greatly improved. Alone to know this post is a request for proposal would be golden to bring down the noise level.  I would like to use an RFP Microformat for my next post. It is unfortunate that the RFP Micorformat does not excist yet. We should start a page on their wiki for it.  Here is the information that could be covered and encoded:


  • A marker that this is a request for proposal. How about for now “RFP:” in the subject line.

  • Keywords describing it as tags.

  • First paragraph a summary of the needed solution.

  • Additional paragraphs detailed description

  • Date until the proposals are collected

  • Deadline until the solution has to be finished

  • Price that you are willing to pay for the solution

  • License agreement: Open source, Creative Commons, …

  • .. what am I missing?

My next post will use these elements for an RFP that will help you connect pictures with people in game format.

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  1. Dennis Howlett
    This is a great idea Mark though I’m not convinced James is right. I came across this post more by luck than judgment – something Thomas Otter pinged to a GoogleGroup I belong to.

    Contrast that with the way most selection in my world proceeds today. It’s a totally broken process.

    Unless you know different, I’ve not seen any real progress since Cote mooted this idea a while back. That’s not to say the demand doesn’t exist but maybe it’s because it hasn’t really been aired with end user decision makers


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